cover image Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World that Wouldn’t Die

Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World that Wouldn’t Die

Edited by dave ring. Neon Hemlock, $17.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-952086-10-6

This hopeful and vibrant anthology of queer speculative writing edited by 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow ring spans genres, from revolutionary dieselpunk reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road to high fantasy in the vein of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series. These 26 pieces—which encompass short stories and flash fiction, as well as “Apocalypse,” a gorgeous poem by Saida Agostini, and “Dream Askew,” instructions for a collaborative storytelling game from Avery Alder—posit that those already at the margins of society will be the best equipped to thrive after its collapse. Standouts include “The Bone Gifts” by Michael Milne, a high fantasy in which a death cult priest makes a dangerous decision; “Champions of Water War” by Elly Bangs, where a pair of cage fighters find love, juxtaposing softness with physical violence; and Blake Jessop’s “When She Nothing Shines Upon,” a slow-burn romance between robot drivers. This well-edited anthology is remarkably tonally cohesive, united by a fresh view of the apocalypse and themes of community, mutual care, and self-actualization in the face of adversity. Readers both queer and otherwise will find much to love in this joyful celebration of difference and the power of choosing tenderness in a tough world. (Sept.)